The Process – Step 2

Meeting with community members

Once an area is chosen, it’s important to meet with community members who live in the surrounding area because they’re the ones who will be building and maintaining the channel. The first step in getting the community involved is to find out what kinds of problems they’ve been experiencing due to greywater. This can include houses flooding as well as rashes on young children after playing in the greywater. By identifying these problems and teaching the community about the harmful effects of greywater, there will probably be an increase in willingness to get involved with creating and maintaining greywater channels throughout the settlement.

The second step to community involvement is to find out what the community has already attempted in regards to greywater management. This step is important because the community may have found effective or ineffective ways of dealing with greywater which can be documented and used for future reference. By cataloguing these attempts, a database of plausible types of greywater management can be created and referred to for the rest of the settlement. By identifying these attempts and referring back to them when designing a new channel, fewer mistakes will be repeated; specifically, the community will be able to avoid creating a channel which previously proved ineffective. Moreover, the community’s efforts to manage greywater on their own implies that there is a problem that needs fixing, and that they are more likely to participate in the implementation of an effective channel.

After finding out what’s been tried, the third step of community involvement is to share design ideas. This should be done not only by presenting our ideas to them, but also by listening to their ideas and how they think it should be solved. By involving them in the design, a sense of ownership is established, giving them a greater motivation to participate in implementing the greywater channel.